private pilot ground school Articles | Index    

Calming Flying Anxiety
2010-03-18

Calming Flying Anxiety

Anxiety is generalized fear. Your body prepares you to run, fight or act to protect yourself. Your heart and blood pressure rise, blood sugar increases and blood flow is reduced to the head, stomach, skin, hands and feet. You sweat and your muscles tense up. This response is individual to your physiology, background, and inherited instincts.

Emotional stress is just as valid a concern as is physical distress. Being frightened and recognizing the fear is the first step in overcoming fear as a problem. Fear will keep you from doing stupid things. Fear is a protective mechanism that is a very valuable adjunct to your flying repertoire.

We can also fear abstract situations. We worry about the future, the flight to come, life, health, love, status and acceptance. These concerns can trigger the same instinctive responses, as could a lion to our ancestors. However, when we react to these ‘lions’ of psychological threat our behavior is deemed inappropriate. Your very real ‘fears’ and your reaction to them becomes a part of the ‘fear’ problem.

If you are anxious about a particular flying problem you are just being normal. The physiological effect of a solo flight exceeds the similar effects occurring in a parachute jumps or first combat. It is very difficult to express in mere words your concerns because they usually defy description. However, you can help yourself.

Just as your fears are related to imagination so is the overcoming of these fears possible through imagination. For starters, take a worst case scenario and work through the sequence of events as you have been trained to manage them. Ask yourself out loud if any of this is really unbearable. Remind yourself that some degree of discomfort may occur, but you’ll survive. Every time a new worry enters your imagination, write it down and drop it into your open worry jar. Everyone should have an open worry jar. Once you have put a worry into the jar, get occupied with something else. A worry jar is a place to keep your worries until you get a chance to work with them.

In the beginning, it will be difficult to put anxious thoughts out of your mind. Trying to suppress a concern may end up with even more thinking. Arrange to do something that will not allow you to dwell on the problem until you are ready. Try not to think about a coming flight. Don’t let the thought of the flight enter your mind. You’ll probably find it nearly impossible not to think about the flight.

Worrisome thoughts fuel anxiety. Ignored worries have a way of poking back into your mind. Set aside a time to dip into your worry jar. At your selected worry time, sit down with your jar of big and little worries.

During your worry time do nothing by worry. Brainstorm through solutions. Scheduling a worry time cuts the amount of time spent worrying. Save all your old worries into an enclosed can. Save these old worries because you will soon learn that the majority of them either never happen or turn out much better than you expected.

I am asking you to look at your worries at arms-length and ask yourself if your feared ‘lion’ is being exaggerated by your imagination. Question the probability of what you imagine has of happening. Of the sequence of events which are events that have circumstances you can control. Talk to someone about the events beyond your control. You must accept that there are some things over which you have little control.

Written Specifics:

What is the worry?
What is the probability of this worry happening?
What is the best thing that could happen?
What is the probability of this best thing happening?
What are the solution options to your worry?
What plan of action will give me the best options?

Comment

 
 External Links
 Recent articles
The Johnson Bar
One unlikely aircraft feature was derived from the steam engine The Johnson bar was used to control the amount of steam and hence the...

Why and When of Accidents
1 One fourth of forced landings are related to maintenance or mechanical failure BR 2 1 3 accidents in landing ...

Teaching precepts
P li Docendo Discimus We learn by teaching When by yourself you are the instructor BR BR ...

1998 Statistics
li B Over 20 of all G A fatal accidents had weather as contributing factor BR ...

Fuel Accidents
ul li The number one cause of engine failure is lack of fuel BR li 10 of General Aviation accidents are caused...

Landing Illusions
P You and every other pilot is susceptible to illusions When any of our three flight senses visual auditory and kinesthetic give erroneous information...

Self-Doubt is Normal
P Every so often the instructor finds a student who is going through a phase of flying that is very disturbing to the student A student may...

Preparation
The success of the instructional program is directly related to the willingness of the student to study and prepare It takes a minimum of two hours of study for every...

My First Month As A Student Pilot
H4 Week 1 H4 P FONT SIZE quot; 1 quot; Monday: Rain BR Tuesday: Rain BR ...

Slow Flight
No maneuvers below 1500 BR 1 2 Vs1 at 10 and 5 knots BR Altitude within 100 and airspeed within 10 and ...

Taildraggers
19 of fleet are taildraggers BR 6 to 29 of landing accidents P P ...

Alcohol
1 In accidents from #39;78 to #39;87 6 of G A pilots had blood alcohol level of at least 04 by weight...

Phillips Head Screws
John Henry Phillips of Mass patented his double slotted screw in 1932 The very similar Reed Prince screw is not approved for ...

Help Your Instructor
P The more an instructor knows about you your background motivation finances and goals the better he will be able to advise you on ...

Military Training Routes (MTR)
P If you find that your flight will intersect an MTR route be sure to have P P the FSS run a...

1989 - 1993 US Accidents
#133;Accident__________Deaths_ BR 1 Highway Accidents 228 000 BR 2 Murders ...

Different Miles and How They Came to Be
Under the Roman Empire Rome became the center of the western world All roads led to Rome and all distances were measured from...

Associated Airport (Two Mile final into CCR 19R)
Clyde as it exists now is two small rows of homes along one side of a railroad spur track and Port Chicago Highway I was once...

Procedures and Techniques
Every phase of flying requires a series of procedures from pre flight to shut down With every procedure for what needs to be done...

A Need to communicate
P What is the only question an instructor can never answer It is the unasked question Many concerns are unspoken The unspoken fear of every...

Pilot Error 50 Years Ago
P In December of 1947 an Air Force study released the following analysis of pilot errors that precipitate accidents There is no reason to think things have...

Post-Landing
P Once on the ground Do not relax Hold the yoke back and properly positioned for taxi For any turns off the runway the yoke should...

Area Familiarization
P I have instructed at a largely general aviation airport CCR with two sets of dual runways This has been fortunate because the potential complexity...

Night Accidents
1 Night emergency landings are 1 5 times as likely to result in a fatality BR 2 7 of flying is...

Fitting The Hood
P The hood should be fitted prior to engine start Note that the attitude indicator has both a wings level and a level index mark at its...

Way To Go...
The pole star was recognized by the ancients as being a constant reference for determining direction The Norsemen in the 11th century used a needle of magnetic ...

Operation of Airplane Systems
P I FONT SIZE quot; 1 quot; REFERENCES: C 61 21 AC61 23 FONT Airplane Handbook and Flight Manual I ...

Performance Sheet ASEL
Weight and balance BR CG at gross takeoff______CG at gross landing____ BR Shift weight from______ to _____ BR New CG ______ B BR ...

Flight Contradictions
ul li The rudder is not used to turn the plane Rather it keeps the nose straight BR...

The Development of Aviation
Progress in aviation has been a dynamic proof of the Chaos theory Government in all its forms as perceived by the individual as a...

Short, Soft, and Rough Takeoff
P Use the recommended flap setting either prior to takeoff or after reaching 30 40 knots The idea is to get clear of the ground as soon...

Illusions - Vertigo Simulation
P B Materials: B BR 1 An open lawn space at least 15 #39; by 15 #39; BR 2 A...

Teaching To A Higher Level
P Because of the concentrated information that is being loaded on the student in the beginning I use a tape recorder so that the material is available...

Uncontrolled Airport Radio
P Start listening well away from the airport Overfly above pattern altitude if you are uncertain of pattern or procedures Adhere to AIM recommended procedures ...

Retractables
1 One gear up landing occurs on average every day in the U S 5 of retractable accidents are gear up landings BR ...

You and Illusions
P 1 Illusions can and do occur to everyone BR 2 Proper planning for strange airport conditions is essential BR 3 Weather and...

Practice Illusions
P B Autokinesis B BR On a dark night fly toward a single light Student is to stare only at the light...

Buying the Farm
In the `20s #39; barnstormers would travel the countryside to small cities and set up an quot;airplane ride quot; concession from some farmer #39;s field The pilot...

Post Landing Checklist
When flaps C H mixture radio ...

Pilot/Owner Maintenance
P Keeping an aircraft clean greatly improves both its appearance and its performance When you clean an aircraft you learn a great deal about its construction and...

Start/Post Start
P Make several dry run engine starts on the tape recorder to develop the checklist Emphasize used of the left hand all the time holding the mike...

Spins - A History
An unheralded aviation pioneer is British scientist F A Lindemann The Prof as he was known led a very checkered...

PTS Oral/Flight Test
Meet with examiner before the tests and ask relevant questions BR Examiners weight BR Cross country plan BR Weather contingencies BR Cost...

Illusions - IFR for VFR pilots
P The purpose of IFR training is to be able to read interpret the instruments and fly accordingly The introduction of the VFR student to the...

Power-on Stalls
No lower that 1500 #39; BR Takeoff configuration BR Induce stall with heading maintained U U 10 degrees when inducing stall with...

Instruction
Initially the ground instruction begins with basic background and theory The flight lesson is predicated by the use of preflight and Postflight briefings...

Student Logbook Requirements
Student solo license endorsements for each type aircraft BR Student solo cross country license endorsement BR Logbook signoff for ground instruction BR Pre solo aeronautical...

Engine Starting
Clear start and after start with checklist BR Hand propping BR External source BR Clearing BR Uses checklist ...

Soft-field Takeoff
P Introduction BR The situation is a takeoff area of unlimited length but having a soft surface the nature of which would prevent acceleration ...

Turns About a Point
P Some students do better if the point is selected at the intersection of to right angle roads This instead of a lone tree helps maintain ...

 Related Links
 
©2010 4VFR.COM, All Rights Reserved Powered by 4vfr.com